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Title:Evaluating arts education
Author(s):Sowinski, Scott A
Director of Research:Roegman, Rachel
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Roegman, Rachel
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Dillon, Pradeep; Herrmann, Mary; Nichols, Jeananne
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Art Education
Teaching & Learning
Performing Arts
Theatre Education
Danielson Framework
Visual Art
Fine and Performing Arts
Abstract:Teacher evaluation has a longstanding importance in public school education (Howell, 2015). Teacher evaluation in Illinois predominantly relies on the use of the Danielson Framework for Professional Practice which is used to rate teacher effectiveness (Danielson, 2011). The Danielson Framework is embedded in an evaluation cycle that provides pre-conferencing, observation, and a post-observation process intent on providing feedback for continued growth in professional practice (Steinberg & Donaldson, 2016). The Danielson Framework is not content specific; its domains are meant to apply to all grade levels and subjects areas (Danielson, 2011). The purpose of this study was to investigate how evaluators and arts teachers experience the current teacher evaluation process in Illinois in terms of assessing teacher practice and supporting professional growth. Five arts? teachers and two supervising evaluators were interviewed regarding their experiences in relation to the Danielson Framework and their perceptions on its use and effectiveness in professional growth. The data indicate respondents found the Danielson Framework useful in determining a unform practice of instruction but ineffective in meeting the specificity of connectedness, interpersonal, and interpretive elements found in arts education. The data also indicate respondents found evaluative experience to be most effective when supervised by those who understand their content. Lastly, respondents indicated that the formal teacher evaluation process led to an inaccurate depiction of daily practice. Respondents indicated that the evaluation process focuses on meeting pre-designated benchmarks rather than serving students. The study concludes with recommendations for continued research in evaluating the interpersonal and emotional contexts that these teachers found most important, but least examined in evaluating educational practice. Recommendations are made to institution and organizations that employ evaluation tools for teachers of the arts to engage in discussions with arts professionals to better respond to intangible elements of interconnectedness and relationship building not explicit in the Danielson Framework. Suggestion is also made for continued training for evaluators on differentiating feedback to the specialization of arts content. The usage of art extends beyond content and centralizes in a different meaningfulness to student learning than core content that is tested and assessed. Lastly, arts educators and evaluators offer the opinion extended here that greater attention be paid to scaffolded feedback and ratings throughout the instructional tenure. As teachers are expected to grow, so should the quality and deepening of the feedback provided.
Issue Date:2021-04-12
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Scott A. Sowinski
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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